9 signs you weren't ready to break up with your ex

Metro-Goldwyn-MayerElle Woods thought she and Warner Huntington III weren’t ready to break up.
  • Breakups can be difficult, especially when they happen too early.

  • INSIDER spoke with relationship experts about signs that couples weren’t ready to break up.
  • If you broke up because of one fight, you probably weren’t ready.

Breakups are hard, especially if you weren’t ready for one. If your relationship is still healthy overall or you broke up because of external reasons, you probably weren’t ready.

INSIDER spoke with relationship experts about signs that you weren’t ready to break up with your partner.

You wanted to work on the relationship

Often, discussions of changes that need to occur in a relationship get misconstrued as one of you not being enough for the other person. Kevon Owen, a family and couples counselor, said that if you just wanted “big change” specific to the relationship rather than the person, “you weren’t actually ready to break up.”

You were happy with each other more often than you weren’t

Irene LaCota, a cofounder of the dating service It’s Just Lunch, said: “No relationship is 100% bliss. The longer you are with someone, the more the ratio of happiness versus unhappiness changes. Just because you are unhappy with someone on a couple days does not mean you need to break up.”

“It just means that your relationship is moving into the reality phase, and you need to work harder to understand each other,” she added.

Your arguments end on a positive note

If you were having constructive arguments, your relationship still had potential. “All couples argue,” LaCota said. “If you stay mad after every argument, then that is when you need to seriously take a look at why you are together.”

Read more: ‘Stand in the corner and cry’ and other pieces of dating advice that failed the test of time

The breakup was used as a threat during a fight

Caroline Madden, a relationship therapist, said that couples sometimes “don’t actually want to break up but are feeling overwhelmed or helpless” and that people in some cases say they want to break up “to threaten and scare their partner.”

“You find yourself broken up with, even though you didn’t really want to,” she said.

Woman breakup pictures upsetUnsplash/ian dooleyIf you regret the breakup, it may not have been the right choice.

The reasons for the breakup are extraneous

Owen said you shouldn’t break up because of reasons like, “‘I didn’t like his music,’ ‘his style was all wrong,’ ‘I think his dog hated me.'”

“There are legitimate reasons to pull the parachute and get out, but if you were desperately looking for an exit and none of the reasons were legitimate and you’re racked with regret, you weren’t ready to break up,” he added.

The breakup was based on external circumstances

Owen said if the breakup was “based on external circumstances such as work, school, or life and you took the easier path of not living the ‘long-distance relationships are hard’ life,” it may not have been the right decision.

He said this is especially true if you’d be together if your partner lived closer to you.

There are more pros to the relationship than cons

Couples can get stuck in a routine and feel like they want a big change, like being single again, when the relationship is actually good. When that happens but nothing else is wrong, you should change up your relationship patterns rather than break up.

The breakup happened to you instead of for you

If you’re still hung up on your ex, keeping up with everything they’re doing, or trying to get them back, it may not have been time to break up. Owen said, “There’s a reason people get caught up on their exes: because you weren’t ready to break up.”

You still closely follow their social media

If you still care about what your ex is doing and who they’re hanging out with, you may not have been ready to break up. LaCota said, “It’s when you stop being interested in them or even caring about what they are doing or saying that it’s time to move on.”

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